Monday, March 16, 2009

Pudge and Towles

A little later, when I can find a little more time, we'll look at the projections for Pudge over Q and Towles. However, faithful Citizen Spruce had this to say:

"I think I like this move. I hope it injects a little life into what seems to be a lifeless team. I wasn't truly excited about any of the four C options coming into camp, so sending them off in different directions doesn't bother me a whole lot.

I do have a question about Towles. If Castro is our guy of the future, what does that mean for JR? Does he become our career Round Rock starter? That sounds thrilling."

I honestly have no idea what it means for Towles. If Quintero struggles, maybe there's a switch. But I think between Quintero and Towles, Towles gets the C3. I do think Easy Eddie couldn't have been happy with his four catchers coming in. It clearly wasn't a best-case scenario. And who I thought would get the C1, Toby Hall, jacked up his arm within 30 seconds of coming to camp.

I do think this means Palmisano is headed back to Baltimore. Remember, because of his Rule 5 status, if he doesn't make the 25-man roster all season long, he goes back to his original team.

I'm with Spruce in that I'm interested in the impact the Pudge signing will have on the Astros. Tomorrow's game will be interesting. If they come out swinging and throw 10 on the board, maybe this is exactly what they needed.

Roy said this:
"It’s going to help us out for sure. Hopefully we can work together a little bit at the end of spring and get going. I think it’s going to be a lot of fun. The guy’s got a lot of experience and I think it will work out pretty well for us."

Quintero is back to C2, but at least will not likely be sent to Round Rock, where Towles and Esposito/Santangelo seem to have C3 and C4/C5 on lock-down until Castro (C3a) makes his way through. The fact that the Astros drafted Castro last June shows that they were probably hedging their bets on Towles. At the very least, they've given both Quintero and Castro another year to develop and learn. And honestly, if the difference between a .220-hitting catcher and a .280 hitting catcher is $1.5 million, why the heck not? It's not our money.

And bringing it around to Spruce's question - What does it mean for Towles? Is he trade-bait? I don't know. I doubt it, because clubs wouldn't exactly be buying high. Is his standing within the organization diminished? Absolutely it is. But he'll be the first called up if Pudge or Q gets hurt. It's not an ideal situation for him, but keep in mind, had any of three catchers stepped up and hit some baseballs far and/or at least often, there's no way Pudge signs.

This certainly puts a dent in the "Drayton McLane only wants to make money" argument. Although, if the Astros cut Backe by 2pm April 1, there's your $1.5 million - robbing Brandon to pay Pudge.

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